Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones spent the last two and a half years preparing for his much-talked about heavyweight debut. All that training and bulking up comes to a head this March at UFC 285, when he faces Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title.
But the road to heavyweight wasn’t an easy one, according to Jones, particularly with the physical aspect. “Bones” spoke about it in a recent Twitter Space (H/T MMA Fighting).
“One of the hardest things was not being able to lose my shape while still trying to pack on 40 pounds,” he explained.
“I think when the fans see me, they’ll be surprised that I still look a lot like I used to — [although] my shoulders are a lot more broader, I freaking gained a whole bunch of ass, unfortunately — but just trying to keep that shape and doing it the right way.”
Jones recently signed a new deal with the UFC, which supposedly makes him the “highest-paid heavyweight athlete” according to his advisor Richard Schaeffer. And at 35 years old, it does pose a bit of a challenge.
“I had eight fights left on my contract, I just wasn’t happy with my percentages. We just bumped up the pay and pretty much picked up where we left off with my commitment to the UFC.
“Hopefully I can get through all eight fights, that’s a lot of fighting at 35 years old. We’ll see.”
Jones winning the heavyweight title elevates his status further, and according to Dana White, makes him the undeniable GOAT. And if he does get through Gane, he already has an opponent in mind.
“I’ve got my sights on Stipe Miocic. I think it just means the most. There’s a lot of guys out there, but for me, personally, for my legacy, to defeat the greatest heavyweight of all-time, it just means the most to me.
“As far as how soon, hopefully I get out of this fight with no serious injuries, but I’d like to get [back] out there as soon as possible. My goal is anywhere from two to three fights depending on how it looks.”
UFC 285 happens on March 4th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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